Archive for December 3rd, 2006
Here are changes in our national security as proposed by the Department of Homeland Security. Time will tell if they will be enacted and if they will be effective.
From: Department of Homeland Security
Release Date: November 30, 2006
The Administration announced its intention to work with Congress to reform the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) thereby strengthening security and facilitating international allies’ ability to join the program. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified a number of security measures to be sought from Visa Waiver Program candidates. DHS will work with Congress to implement the following security requirements:
1. Electronic travel authorizations. The United States will develop an Electronic Travel Authorization program for VWP travelers to give advance information on their travels to the Unites States. In return, the VWP travelers will be given authorization electronically to travel to the United States. This program will be modeled on a similar program that has been used in Australia for many years.
2. Passenger information exchange. For the most effective background checks on prospective travelers, the United States needs information and assistance from the country where the traveler resides. Such assistance should be a routine part of any VWP relationship.
3. Reporting lost and stolen passports. VWP countries will be asked to report lost and stolen passport data for both blank and issued passports, and to do so as promptly as possible. We have made progress in this area thanks to Congress’ past requirement that VWP countries provide such reports; the time has come to raise our sights.
4. Repatriation of removed aliens. When illegal immigrants are found in the United States, they must be removed from the United States to their home country. The home country must agree to accept them for repatriation. If the country refuses, or simply neglects to do so, the United States is forced to allow the aliens to remain in this country. VWP countries should agree to accept their citizens promptly when those citizens are caught violating U.S. law.
In addition, DHS will seek agreement with VWP countries on the following security enhancements:
by Robert E. Meyer
There is much speculation about what congressional democrats will do over the next two years. My column will be one of pure conjecture as well–I don't know with certainty–but I will give my rationale for each position I take.
First, the Democrats won't try to impeach the president. There are many good reasons for not doing so. The attempted impeachment of Bill Clinton did not sit well with the public, so the Dems won't want to take the chance of messing up their slim advantage going into the '08 presidential campaign. They must create the perception of bringing the country together. Long drawn out investigations would create the same voter fatigue which contributed to the GOP's defeat this November.
Investigations against Bush's reasons for going to Iraq will probably be inconclusive, and at worst exonerate his motives for invading Iraq. It worked better for the Dems to cast aspersions on Bush during the election season, than it will to actually perform an investigation that would do little to harm the already plummeting opinion polls that Bush is enduring. Such inquisition could look like a witch hunt, with Bush becoming the hallowed martyr. As the next election approaches, the Dems can spin their temperance as an act of goodwill: "We all know Bush is guilty of dereliction of his duties, but for the good of the country we spared America a second coming of Watergate." Presto! The Dems are the "white hats" riding the high moral plateaus.
Next, I doubt we will see much in the way of changes to the income tax structure. Democrats know that the economy has rebounded since the 9-11 recession. The Dow Jones is setting records almost monthly for the first time in since early 2000. Unemployment is extremely low, inflation is in check, oil prices are falling, and the deficit is being reduced through increased revenues, etc. Bush got no credit for this good economic environment, which means the Dems are poised to take credit for the bright economic future already baked into the cake. We will suddenly discover that the economy isn’t as bad as previously projected by the media, all due to the recent election of course. Also, with the housing bubble having finally burst, the Federal Reserve will likely have to go full astern on their current strategy of raising interest rates. The Dems might say they are going to eliminate "tax cuts for the rich," but that is a slogan of class envy, more than a statistical reality.